"It's a fuck up..."
"While I'm naturally disappointed to have been omitted from the England squad I fully understand the reasons why..."
Between those two sentences, both attributed to Kevin Pietersen, lies the work of the ECB media relations department. Say what you like about the rest of the ECB, those media relations boys know their gig. Into their cavernous depersonalisation machine goes the phrase 'it's a fuck up...'. At the other end emerges, 'I am naturally disappointed...'
KP's true feelings do not expose the media department. Their many hundreds of press releases per season contain not one word that could actually have been uttered by a genuine human being, let alone a professional cricketer. But they do reveal a rare bad day for Andy Flower, Geoff Miller and the selectors. The thinking behind Pietersen's exclusion is sound. He will go to Surrey and have the chance of a couple of first-class games and the opportunity to bat for a long time, probably with Mark Ramprakash. It will do him more good than reverting to slog mode for a couple of T20s and the ridiculous number of ODIs [Five? Do we really need five?] that will be now be played out by one side that's suspicious of the other and one side that will be absolutely shattered whatever happens.
Yet before this morning ['what a fuck up'], they obviously hadn't sat down and explained it to him. Pietersen is a sensitive man, low on confidence. He needs to be handled gently, and you would have expected Flower, if not Miller, to have realised that.
A poor day for the selectors was rounded out by the choice of Steve Davies, re-opening the ODI wicketkeeper debate for the 3,708th time [note to subs: check precise figure with ECB media dept.] There is a consistency of selection in the Test side that is lacking here. What exactly did Kieswetter do wrong, except suffer a small dip after the World Cup win? It's a question he's entitled to ask, and Miller should be expected to answer, ideally without passing his comments through the media department first.